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Sex Offender Risk

Lawyers may wish the sex offender to have a forensic mental health assessment to determine the presence of a legitimate sexual psychiatric disorder that would affect fitness to be managed on an outpatient basis or released on bail. In cases where lawyers need to determine the sex offender’s appropriateness for community placement, they may request a forensic mental health Risk Assessment to determine future risk for violent re-offense or for recidivism.

In other cases, lawyers may need to determine the sex offender’s appropriateness for community placement. The may request a forensic mental health Risk Assessment to determine the future risk for violent re-offense or for recidivism

Another facet of Sex Offender Risk Assessment is encountered when one is representing a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). The SVP statutes differ from traditional civil commitments in that they provide for commitment of a certain class of sex offender, the SVP.  Among the most prominent characteristics of the SVP legislation are:

  • SVP commitments do not require a recent overt act; traditional civil commitments usually do;
  • SVP commitments occur after an offender has served the term of incarceration, whereas traditional civil commitments typically occur instead of incarceration;
  • SVP commitments do not usually invoke diagnoses of psychosis whereas traditional civil commitments frequently invoke such diagnoses;
  • SVP commitments require an assessment of volitional impairment, whereas traditional civil commitments do not. (Witt, P. H. & Conroy, M. A.  Evaluation of sexually violent predators. New York: Oxford, 2009.)

When representing a sex offender, lawyers may request a forensic mental health assessment which helps address the following three elements:

  • whether the individual has the requisite disorder;
  • whether that disorder somehow impairs the individual’s ability to control behavior;
  • the nature of the subsequent risk to society.

If you have questions or would like to set up a Sex Offender Risk Assessment, contact Minneapolis psychologist, Dr. Alberta today.

 

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